NEW DELHI, Feb 13

Though camel slaughter is banned in India, slaughter and export of camel meat is thriving in many districts of Uttar Pradesh. According to unofficial estimates, more than 5,000 to 7,000 camels are transported from Rajasthan to abattoirs in western Uttar Pradesh every month. The meat is then exported to a number of countries in western Asian countries.

YOU'LL be glad to know that in the concrete jungle of Mumbai, some beautiful creatures are giving children something to smile about.

From pugmarks to high-tech equipment like satellite imagery and camera-traps. That's how census on wild animals in Jammu and Kashmir is graduating. Come March, and the state Government will undertake two scientific censuses on three wild animals: the highly-endangered hangul, also called the Kashmir stag, the common leopard and the Asiatic black bear, also known as Himalayan black bear. To be conducted in collaboration with the Central Government, the censuses will also get expert help from the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. J&K Chief Wildlife Warden A K Srivastava says, "While one census will be on the endangered hangul, found only in Kashmir, the other will focus on the common leopard and the Asiatic black bear.' The Kashmir stag census will be utilised to protect the endangered animal, and the other will be used to deal with the increasing incidents of the man-animal conflicts in the state. Srivastava says the earlier censuses conducted by the state Government were not accurate as these were carried out "on the basis of their pugmarks'. "But the new censuses will be carried out, using the most high-tech equipment like satellite imagery and camera-traps,' he adds. Cameras will be put on trees in the forest areas, which will trap the movement of wild animals, recording their actual number with the help of satellite imagery. The Centre has agreed in principle to fund the census projects. "In Jammu, experts from the Wildlife Institute of India will hold a three-day training workshop for divisional forest officers and range officers of the state forest and wildlife departments,' adds Srivastava. While the hangul is not harmful, the other two have caused man-animal conflicts in the state over the past two years, killing over three dozen and injuring more than 200 people. While the hangul census will mainly focus on the Kashmir valley, the other one will cover various areas

KRISHNAGAR, Feb. 12: At a time when the critically endangered White-rumped Vulture Gyps, who were once a common sight in West Bengal, have indeed made a self-styled effort to be re-colonised in the Banguria forest near Bethuadahari Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) in Nadia, hectic preparations are on to catch the spotted deer inside the sanctuary for its census after a long gap of seven years.

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